Many of the best ski mountaineers in the world are also avid climbers, especially in Europe where they are one in the same. The cross-over aspect is almost 100%, especially with technical ski mountaineering.
Aside from being an excellent workout, rock climbing is as much (if not more so) a mental game. Learning how to relax when you are pumped out of your gourd and about to take a long whipper is a learned skill and if you do much rock climbing, you’ll get plenty of chances to practice. In terms of steep skiing, being able to relax (and thus save energy) while staring down 3,000′ of exposure goes a long ways toward your enjoyment of the sport.
Alpine climbing is a lot like Ski Mountaineering… without the skiing. Walking down a snow covered peak is generally undesirable, but some mountains (or snowpacks) don’t lend themselves to skiing and Alpine climbing is a fun diversion. The cross-over skills of camping, crevasse rescue and pacing are all important elements of backcountry skiing.
Tomorrow: My current favorite (and least favorite) off-season activity…
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Category: 16 Conditioning